Death of Pleasantville family spotlights domestic violence epidemic in Hudson Valley

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Advocates are calling attention to the domestic violence epidemic following the fatal stabbing of a Pleasantville mother and her children.

"Nationally, there isn't a day you can't wake up and see the grave impact of domestic violence," says "Fearless!" director Kellyann Kostyal-Larrier. She adds that domestic violence is an epidemic that is behind closed doors that often doesn't surface until it's too late.

"It's such an isolating form of control that abusers are very good at, that often times victims don't know the resources," says Kostyal-Larrier.

Just last week, 42-year-old Pleasantville mom Dorothy Liu and her two young children were found dead after being stabbed by her husband Tom Liu, who then killed himself. It was the fourth deadly domestic violence incident in the Hudson Valley this year.

In January, two women in Middletown were shot dead by their husbands, who then killed themselves. Back in October, police say 32-year-old Deborah Waldinger from New Windsor was beaten to death with a hammer by her boyfriend Luis Rondon.

According to state statistics, domestic violence incidents appear to be on the rise. In 2018, domestic violence was to blame for nearly half of all women killed in New York. The state also saw a rise in orders of protections for victims, compensation claims, hotline calls and emergency room visits.

Advocates say there's still hope for change in the future with awareness and support for survivors.

"Fearless!" representatives are available to help victims of domestic violence 24 hours a day, seven days a week and can be reached by calling 845-562-HOPE.

MORE: Grief counseling sessions held in wake of Pleasantville murder-suicide



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